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About the Author

From bicycle touring to backpacking, watercolour painting to clay modelling, the exploration journal captures my journey through many different interests and travel adventures.

I’m passionate about finding those out of the way places that whisk you away from the concerns of everyday life. Whether this is by wading through an overgrown river or trying new paint techniques is up to you!

Practicing insect photography in Germany

Practicing insect photography in Germany

I recently visited my sister near Dusseldorf in Germany, they were busy one afternoon so I grabbed my camera and walked to the nearby Stinderbachtal nature reserve. The aim of the trip was to test out my new Neewer macro extension tubes for the Sony A6000 camera. I’ve only had it for a couple of weeks so an afternoon of insect hunting was ideal to get to grips with it. The trip was a success and I spent a couple of hours mostly stalking giant crickets, but also some other insects and butterflies.

I spent the first hour or so amongst giant flowers that came up to chest height. I could hear bush crickets chirping from the depths of the flowers but they kept jumping/flying off when I tried to get close. I carried on trying until I managed to get a good selection of photos.

Further along the nature reserve opens up into a grass meadow beside a river. I could hear grasshoppers this time and so once again patiently stalked them until I found one willing to be still. I think their human-like eyes are the most freakishly disturbing thing I’ve found on an insect. This one also showed off whatever that thing coming out of its mouth is – I tried to look it up but couldn’t figure out what it was on the bush cricket anatomy diagrams.

I also saw butterflies, a dragonflies, and spiders.

All in all I’m quite happy with the photographs I took, I’m still getting the hang of how to focus the lens on something that is very angular and moves a lot. After a bit of practice I decided to make the eyes the manual focal point when photographing crickets, which was a lot better than the autofocus making the legs clear but blurring out everything else.

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